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Kansas State professors: Religious Act could harm LGBT community

In March of this year, the House of Representatives proposed the Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act, an act that is supposed to prevent local governments from enacting legislation that could in some way create a burden against an individual's religious exercise. The bill is set for a vote in the Kansas Senate.

Two professors from Kansas State have begun a campaign against the enactment of the law and have found a group of supporters. Their belief is that while protection of religious rights is a good thing, the bill could actually provide an avenue for discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

The theory is that there are several religions that prohibit the alternative lifestyles, specifically the aforementioned groups. By protecting a person's right to exercise those beliefs, they say that the LGBT community could suffer from discrimination in areas such as housing and employee rights.

One of the professors said that the "law would effectively inactivate" non-discrimination policies that Kansas State and other universities already have in place to protect students and faculty members. The group has campaigned for signatures to help their cause and they have found a lot of support. "What's going on now is that people realize that LGBT discrimination is real," said the co-chair for the Flint Hills Human Rights Project and one of the professors at the university. "And people are coming around to the fact that these individuals need protection."

Employment discrimination is a serious problem for many different groups of people. Some individuals even suffer multiple forms of discrimination in the workplace, but no one has to suffer. It is the right of every individual in a protected class to seek justice for discrimination they have suffered in the workplace.

Source: Kansas State Collegian, "Kansas' Preservation of Religious Freedom Act sparks controversy," Anton Trafimovich, April 13, 2012

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